Our April 1 Dinner Dance was no joke, as over 400 guests attended the annual fundraising event. Old and new friends helped celebrate the event’s 25th anniversary at Leonard’s Palazzo in Great Neck, NY.
There was dancing….
Games of chance with wonderful prizes.
We celebrated two graduations from The Martin C. Barell School program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.
Executive Director Nicole Weidenbaum and Event Chairperson Paul Raguso inspired generosity in the crowd and we were able to raise more money than ever before. Thank you to everyone!
Overall, people just had a wonderful time celebrating NSSA and helping to support our programs and services.
Thank you to all the amazing, hardworking people who brought this event to life, as well as our generous sponsors:
If you would like to receive an invitation to next year’s Dinner For Our Children, or any of our events, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Harris, long-time NSSA consultation student, made a touching presentation today at The Martin C. Barell School when he presented his new video “Jason Harris-Transitioning from High School” and officially ended his time with NSSA and announced his newest venture as a student at Vaughn College of Aeronautic Engineering, Aviation and Technology.
Jason’s friend Chris, an NSSA Adult Service client, began the presentation with a talk about some of his own experiences at NSSA.
NSSA’s Transition Coordinator Jacquie Frangoulis introduced Jason and congratulated him on all his hard work at achieving his goals.
After the video presentation Jason removed his NSSA ID card and replaced it with his new Vaughn College ID.
Students and staff congratulate Jason on his exciting new future.
Morgan Kauffman, who has known and worked with Jason for many years, was on-hand to celebrate with him as well.
Everyone at NSSA is so proud of Jason and excited to watch him take the next steps into his future – Congratulations, Jason!
And here is Jason’s story…..
Adult Service clients created a red white and blue wreath out of clothespins just in time to decorate their homes for the 4th of July.
Clients painted and glued clothespins, sorted by color, and attached them to a metal frame.
On Tuesday, June 21, Martin C. Barell’s Classroom 1 (and a buddy!), graduated from their 12-week class at Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy.
They demonstrated all their exercises for family and friends – balance beam, tumbling, obstacle course, zipline, and trapeze.
There were dazzling smiles everywhere as the boys flew, swung, and fell into the foam pit.
Friendships were made…
Everyone grouped around to be congratulated for their efforts and progress.
Each gymnast received an award for their special strength:
Best Balance Beam
And Honorary Team Member J. received the award for Best Buddy!
We’d like to thank Farmingdale Gymnastics Academy and especially coaches Serena and Lisa for their teaching skills and wonderful ways with our students.
The wonderful students and staff of Smithtown High School East once again hosted a fun evening for NSSA students and clients on April 1, 2016.
They decorated the space and dressed according to a Luau theme and everyone had a great time dancing, snacking and limbo-ing.
The event is geared for students and clients aged 14 and up. Smithtown students encourage dancing and socializing. NSSA staff attends as well.
DJ Matt Figuccio keeps the party lively playing favorite tunes.
Thanks again to Smithtown High School East for being such gracious hosts, we look forward to seeing you again soon!
As part of its outreach to the greater autism community, NSSA hosts A Special Night for Our Special Kids twice yearly at Adventureland in Farmingdale. NSSA tries to hold the spring and autumn events during program breaks to give our guests with autism and their families something to look forward to when there are few structured activities available.
In spite of challenging weather, we welcomed families into the park this past April 25 for an evening of fun.
Many families with a child with autism find the prospect of attending an amusement park on a typical evening extremely daunting. Long lines and crowds can be especially challenging for these families. During NSSA’s events, Adventureland is closed to the general public and made available to people with autism and their friends and families. On these special evenings, the amusement park is at reduced capacity. The shorter waiting times for rides make it much easier for our friends with autism and more manageable for their families. Since the park is filled with people who understand autism, the atmosphere is very relaxed and caring. We hear over and over again that it is only during the NSSA events that many of these families would even consider going to an amusement park as a family.
Our next Special Night for Our Special Kids at Adventureland will take place Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm. (Rain Date: Thursday, Sept. 22
6:30-9:30). We hope to see you there!
Wednesday, June 1, 2016 was a perfect day for Commack High School’s 5th Annual Student/Teacher Doubles Tournament fundraiser “Tennis for Autism” to raise awareness of autism and NSSA.
Proceeds from the fundraiser were generously donated to NSSA.
Shane Helfner, President of the Suffolk County Tennis Coach’s Association, spearheads this event each year – we’re so fortunate to have such good friends and supporters in the community.
Family and friends, staff and students came out to support the event and players. There was such a genuine feeling of camaraderie among the tennis team and faculty players.
Raffle prizes were announced near the end of the event and there were many happy winners.
Everyone who participated received a medal and the top four places in the tournament received trophies. But everyone involved in the event – from students and faculty, to Shane and parents – are winners as far as we’re concerned.
Thank you Commack HS Boys Varsity Tennis Team, Commack High School faculty, and Shane Helfner for helping to raise awareness of autism and Nassau Suffolk Services for Autism.
NSSA’s Adult Services clients let their inner artists out when a painting teacher visited them earlier this week. Lilly Polishuk from Individualized Family Care led the group in a rendition of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
The clients, aided by staff, followed the instructor-led step-by-step instructions to create individualized works of art.
Clients practiced direction following and imitation while exercising their self-expression.
A finished product…and a proud client.
This past Saturday, April 16, 2016, NSSA’s 24th Annual Dinner for Our Children was well-attended by people who give. People who give of themselves, people who give their time, energy and skills, people who give donations of money and prizes. We thank them all.
We thank Paul and Joann Raguso for once again chairing the event.
We thank volunteers and staff for making the event run smoothly and seeing to it that people had an enjoyable evening.
Thank you to guests who came and made the event into a really fun party!
Thank you to donors and bidders and winners of our wonderful live auctions…
Thank you to those who kept the casino hopping….
…and the dance floor lively!
We’re thankful for families and students we’ve come to know and love…and we congratulate them as they graduate from The Martin C. Barell school program into NSSA’s Adult Services program.
And to everyone who played a part in making NSSA’s 24th Annual Dinner for Our Children a success, we thank you.